Effect of deception of distance on prolonged cycling performance

Shaun Paterson, Francesco Marino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined the effect of deception of distance end-point on prolonged cycling performance. 21 subjects were randomly allocated to three groups (n = 7 per group). Each group completed three self-paced time-trials separated by one day. Subjects were told that each trial was a 30-km time-trial and were required to complete the distance in the fastest time possible. Following the initial trial of 30 km, one group completed Trial 2 with a longer distance (long distance group; 36 km), another group with a shorter distance (24 km; short distance group), and the third group as control (30 km; control). Each group then completed a third time-trial of 30 km. At no time was the deception of distance in Trial 2 disclosed to the subjects, and all sources of physiological and mechanical feedback were withheld during the trials. Data from Trials 1 and 3 were analysed by repeated-measures analysis of covariance. Time to complete Trial 1 was similar among groups (approximately 65 min.). Following the deception in Trial 2 the time to complete the 30 km in Trial 3 was increased for the short distance group, decreased for the long distance group, whilst the time for the control group remained unchanged. The times to complete the 30 km on Trials 1 and 3 were matched by changes in power output throughout the trials. It is concluded that subjects deceived of the actual distance completed will complete the subsequent performance trial based on perceived effort rather than on actual distance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1017-1026
Number of pages10
JournalPerceptual and Motor Skills
Issue number3 Pt 1
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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